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Investigation of block shear of coped beams bolted with clip angles or tee-section connection

English Abstract

In steel construction, secondary beams are bolted or welded to the main girder at the same elevation to form a structural floor system. The flanges of the secondary beams are usually coped to provide enough clearance for the practical beam end connections. The removal of the flanges reduces the bending strength and probably induces the block shear failure at the beam end. In practice, clip angles are commonly used for the beam connection by clipping the coped beam end on both sides of the beam web. Besides, there are one-sided connections, such as the tee-section and single angle, which can reduce the cost of manufacture and facilitate the on-site installation. However, the block shear behavior of coped beams with the tee-section bolted connection had not been studied in the literature. Therefore, ten full-scale coped beam tests were conducted to examine the block shear behavior of coped beams bolted with clip angles or a tee-section connection. The main objective of the experimental program is to investigate the effects of two parameters: (1) out-of-plane loading eccentricity and (2) web block aspect ratio (b/a) on the on the block shear capacity of coped beams with a bolted connection. All the test specimens failed in block shear at the ultimate load. Twisting of the web near the cope was observed for specimens with a one-sided connection. The test results indicated that the connection rotational stiffness could affect the block shear strength of coped beams. Based on the experimental results of the ten test specimens, a non-linear finite element analysis for all the test specimens was carried out. The finite element models were calibrated by comparing the numerical and experimental results of load versus deflection curves. The validated finite element models were established for further parametric studies. The test capacities are compared with several current design standards and it was found that the Canadian Standards CAN/CSA-S16-09 provided the most reasonable predictions for specimens with a single bolt line layout. Preliminary suggestions for the current design standards are also recommended.

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Seak, Ka Seng


Faculty of Science and Technology


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering




Girders -- Joints -- Testing

Steel, Structural -- Testing

Steel I-beams

Shear (Mechanics)


Lam, Chi Chiu

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